Find out how to clean your window sills/tracks with a “Water” type dental flosser! While you’re at it, go ahead and clean your screens and windows too. Keep reading if you want to learn this cleaning hack…
Window Sills: Cleaning the inside of our window sills is not my favorite cleaning project. Even for a neat-freak like me, I do not enjoy doing this project. It is time consuming (we have 24 working windows in our house!). It is messy. It is not easy. But, the payoff is huge. It is so nice to have clean, dead-bug-free windows through and through. This is not a project I do every year. Our window sills don’t get super-dirty. I can get away with doing it every few years, with a quick sill-wipe-down periodically in between. Doing a simple wipe down in between bigger cleanings will help maintain the windows.
Window Screens: When I am doing this project, I need to take out the window screens. Because of that, I just go ahead and clean my window screens at the same time.
Window Glass: Also, go ahead and clean your windows (the parts you can reach) at the same time. Since you are going to all the trouble of doing this messy project, just knock out all the steps at the same time.
How This Project Came About
Several years ago, we had our exterior pressure wash and re-painted. At that time, I cleaned all of the window sills and screens due to the mess of the pressure washing. However, I was unable to get the window sills as clean as I wanted because it was too difficult to get in all the nooks and crannies.
I recently bought a pressure washer for myself, and I love it! I re-visited the idea of cleaning the window sills again. But, using a pressure washer will not work because cleaning sills must be done from the inside to get the best clean. There was no way a pressure washer would work for this project without drenching the inside of the house.
I wondered if there was such a thing as a “little” or “mini” pressure washer. I still don’t know if there actually is. But, I had an epiphany! What about using a water dental flosser? Essentially, water dental flossers are just mini-pressure washers, right?
Turning to good old E-bay, I found a used water flosser for only $20. If you have an old one you don’t use, now is the time to pull it out and put it to use.
**Tip #1: If you buy a used water flosser, make sure it comes with tips. You don’t want to spend extra money to buy tips. Who cares if the tips are old or used? You are only using this on your windows.
What You Need:
- A water dental flosser with tips
- A medium/small scrub brush
- Hot water
- Tilex or another brand of bleach-type cleaner
- A step stool or small ladder
- An extension cord
- A “shield” or something to block the water from spraying
- Paper towels or old towel
- Plastic sheeting
Follow These Steps:
- 01. Open your windows and remove your window screens.
- 02. Place your window screens in an area where you can clean them. I decided to make use of the giant bathtub that we have, but that we never use! I cleaned my screens in there. You could clean them in a large shower. You can take them outside to clean them at your hose, but I couldn’t be bothered with that because it is extra work. If you can do it inside, it’s much easier.
- 03. Wet the screen down and spray a cleaner on the screen. Use a little scrub brush to scrub all around the frame of the screen, and gently over the area of the actual screen.
- 04. Set up your little water flosser. I had to use an extension cord because the water flosser cord is not very long. Also, I had to place the flosser up on a step stool to get it to reach the window. I placed a large piece of plastic sheeting on the ground in front of my window, to prevent mess on the floor.
- 05. Fill the little tank of the water flosser with very hot water. The hot water will do a lot of the work for you. Optional: Mix in some vinegar with the hot water for extra cleaning power.
Tip #2: Over the years, I have tried to be more environmentally friendly and use vinegar as a cleaning tool. It has let me down every single time. It does nothing that I want it to do. In my frustration, I turned to my trusty “Tilex” (now with “Clorox”) cleaner. Tilex has never let me down! Not once! It is better if you can work with Tilex in a well-ventilated area, because the fumes are strong. It’s cleaning power is far superior!
- 06. After some trial and error, I found that spraying some Tilex into the corners and tracks of the sill helps tremendously. Immediately, the Tilex goes to work, and the difference compared to just hot water & vinegar is amazing.
- 07. Turn on your water flosser and begin spraying the sills. I only turned my flosser on the lowest setting, and that was strong enough. Be sure to get into the corners and screen tracks. After more trial and error, I found that I had to use a makeshift shield to block the spray from getting all over me and into the house. Since I don’t currently have a Viking shield handy, and I’m not a Medieval knight, I used the lid of a large plastic bin as a shield. You can easily wipe it clean after you use it. Also, I highly recommend wearing safety goggles, because I did spray myself in the eye at least once (maybe twice or more) before I decided that safety goggles would be a wise choice.
- 08. After you spray all the areas that you want to clean, wipe the sill with a little towel or some paper towels. This will dry up some of the mess, and also get any leftover dirt that you missed.
- 09. If you have any stubborn areas, use a scrub brush on the sill.
- 10. While you are doing this project, go ahead and clean your windows (as much as you can reach).
That’s it! Once you do all of your windows, this project will be off your list for, hopefully, a few years.